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Durham University

Durham Energy Institute

Climate action in communities: clean growth and climate action

Durham Energy Institute works with communities to support local energy projects and to inform local discussions on energy issues such as fracking and heat networks. It also works with local authorities and regional bodies on regional energy projects and has a schools outreach programme on energy education and encouraging engagement in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths subjects.

“DEI researchers have engaged local people in the debate about how we will power and heat their homes in the future – and how they are impacted by some of the major changes that are happening now as well as what we might expect to see in future years. Energy plays such a fundamentally important role in all of our lives and the DEI is helping communities understand how they can help drive, shape and plan for these changes.”

Jenny Saunders OBE, former CEO of National Energy Action

DEI is working with Durham County Council on developing innovative low-carbon community solutions including strategies for reducing energy usage and energy poverty. Improving the energy efficiency of our homes is a significant way in which we can reduce energy demand, energy bills and reduce carbon emissions resulting from energy generation.

The Solid Wall Insulation (SWIi) project is funded by Durham County Council, Durham University and European Regional Development Fund to install new and advanced solid wall insulation systems on over 200 stone and brick built properties in towns and villages across County Durham.

Properties in the scheme are also benefitting from the installation of a ‘HIVE’ smart heating controller.

Durham University Energy Institute are the project research partner and will be monitoring selected properties and households in the scheme to demonstrate the effectiveness of SWI on energy usage and energy bills.

The research project will provide data on the impact of the insulation on energy usage, home temperatures, humidity and draughts within the properties as well as monitor the use and acceptance of smart app controlled heating technologies. The findings will provide a real time insight into domestic use of this technology and the use and application of smart heating controls for domestic users.

Further information on the research project can be found here https://www.dur.ac.uk/dei/projects/solidwallii/

Find out about our work on Geothermal heating options in former mining villages in County Durham.